Brunch on the Bay is set for Sunday, Nov. 4.

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay coming this Sunday

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: October 29, 2018

SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2018) USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Brunch on the Bay, the annual fundraiser for college scholarships, is scheduled Sunday, Nov. 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the USFSM campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail. (Remember to account for daylight saving time the night before.) Tickets and tables are still available at or by calling Pam Gleason at (941) 359-4603.

This year, Brunch will celebrate its Silver Anniversary and many special surprises are planned. News media are invited at 11 a.m., a half-hour before the event, to interview Brunch organizers and USF and USFSM officials in the campus courtyard. Media representatives are asked to enter the campus through the FCCI Rotunda.

Since its start in 1994, Brunch on the Bay has awarded more than 1,700 scholarships, totaling in excess of $1 million, and created a scholarship endowment totaling $1.3 million. However, before Brunch debuted 25 years ago, organizers were more concerned about spotlighting USFSM than raising funds.

Back then – before the campus building was constructed – USF Sarasota-Manatee was virtually invisible, holding classes in borrowed space at New College of Florida. Raising scholarship money remained a primary goal of organizers, but Brunch’s chief aim was to increase awareness of the small campus.

Brunch on the Bay set Nov. 4 at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Charles Baumann

“Classes were at night for the most part and there was no signage. There was nothing to say we were here, so there was no recognition of USFSM,” said retired accountant Charles Baumann, who chaired the first Brunch on the Bay organizing committee. “Nobody knew us.”

A consultant conducting a feasibility study advised against any kind of large-scale fundraiser. “He said nobody knows USFSM; don’t do it,” recalled Baumann, a USF alum.

At first, organizers heeded the consultant’s advice, then started thinking of ways to draw attention to the campus. They hit on a sophisticated outdoor event with numerous restaurants, instead of a black-tie evening affair, and opted for early November before the social season shifted into high gear.

“Brunch wasn’t meant for just the black-tie crowd,” Baumann said. “It was meant for everybody, and we chose late morning so people could go after church. It really is an event where you can just come and enjoy yourself and see all your friends. Along the way, we raise money for scholarships.”

The strategy worked, with the first Brunch attracting hundreds of attendees. “There really is nothing else like it in Sarasota and Manatee,” Baumann said. “That’s why it’s been around for so long.”

But while Brunch’s social side attracts so many, the fundraising side remains front and center with reminders of how the event has changed lives and helped scholarship recipients complete their degree.

Brunch on the Bay set Nov. 4 at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Francisco Loera

Among those helped recently was Francisco Loera, an elementary education major who graduated this past spring. Loera chose USFSM because of its proximity to home and small class sizes.

As he neared the end of his studies, he was offered a four-month internship. A great opportunity, Loera and his wife nevertheless worried whether it was worth giving up his managerial job at a coffee shop that paid the bills. In the end, the Brunch scholarship enabled Loera to accept the internship, and now the Class of 2018 graduate is working in his “dream job” as a fifth-grade teacher at Palmetto Elementary School.

“I wasn’t sure about finances and going into a full-time four-month program, but the Brunch on the Bay scholarship really provided a foundation for us,” he said.

Loera is among dozens of students helped yearly through Brunch scholarships. Funds raised provide support for tuition, books, living expenses and other necessities. Also, many scholarship recipients are from this area and work here after graduation – meaning the scholarships that result from Brunch benefit not only local students but local communities as well.

A Brunch scholarship helped Dat Vu earn degrees in accounting and finance. At his 2013 graduation, he received the Outstanding Graduate Award for excellence in academics and student life. In fall 2016, Vu completed an MBA and five years ago he was hired as a staff accountant at Palmetto-based Feld Entertainment. He’s since been promoted to senior accountant.

Brunch on the Bay set Nov. 4 at USF Sarasota-Manatee

Dat Vu

“What makes Brunch on the Bay so unique is that it brings together diverse members of the community where the goal is to give back, and with the support of people who come to the event undergraduate students like me can have the ability to fulfill their academic dreams and have doors opened for opportunities that last a lifetime,” Vu said.

Like many USFSM students, Jami Worley started college at another institution, then transferred to USFSM. She graduated in 2011 with a psychology degree focusing on psychology and law. She then went onto law school and to found Worley Elder Law, a Bradenton firm specializing in estate planning and elder law needs.

“Having financial support from scholarships removes this level of stress where you have to worry about whether you need to get a part-time job, how you’re going to balance work and school,” Worley said.

“USFSM is an amazing school,” she said. “You’ll be challenged academically and given multiple opportunities to be involved in the campus and in the community. If you put in the work, you’ll graduate as a better person who’s ready to tackle the future.”

Brunch on the Bay’s importance can’t be overstated, Baumann said.

“The financial support provided by individuals and businesses at Brunch changes lives and builds up our community,” he said. “When people donate to student scholarships, sometimes that’s just enough to push students over the edge to complete their degrees. Sometimes, just a little support makes a big difference in a student’s ability to even go to college, earn a degree and then make a difference in our community.”

For more about Brunch on the Bay, including ticket information, visit or call Pam Gleason at (941) 359-4603.

Game on Nation founder to visit USF Sarasota-Manatee

Bulls Notebook: Brunch on the Bay set for Sunday

Steven Shenbaum

Steve Shenbaum, founder of the leadership, teambuilding and communication consulting company Game on Nation, will visit the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., to present his one-of-a-kind, interview-training program to students.

Shenbaum is best known for working with corporations, athletic teams and professional and collegiate athletes. Among his clients are the Pittsburgh Pirates, Deloitte, New York Yankees, University of Kentucky basketball program, NASCAR and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

His fun, interactive program will teach students how to communicate effectively and with confidence. To see Shenbaum’s video, visit

Food and door prizes will be available. To attend, make reservations at

Class & Career Day to give future students a lesson in USFSM

Class & Career Day is coming to USF Sarasota-Manatee on Monday, Nov. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee offers ‘Classroom & Career Days’

Brandon Avery

This popular, interactive admissions program offers prospective freshmen, including high school students and transfer students, an opportunity to see what college is like at USFSM. Participants tour the campus, check out the campus café and fitness center and sit in on classroom discussions to experience USF Sarasota-Manatee.

“Class & Career Day reflects who USFSM is,” says Brandon Avery, assistant director of admissions. “It is designed to be subjective and personal so that students really get a feel for what is important: having a great academic experience, developing skills to launch an exciting career and surrounding yourself with a solid support system.”

To attend Class & Career Day, go to

ACT Prep classes coming to USFSM

High school students thinking about college can benefit from a series of upcoming Act Prep classes beginning Nov. 8 at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

This four-class program will help high school students preparing for the ACT college entrance exam. The classes will be held at USFSM’s campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota:

  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15, 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The course is $65 plus the cost of two books required for the course: ACT for Dummies: 6th Ed., which costs approximately $15-$20 at local bookstores or online (CD version not needed); and 5 lb. Book of ACT Practice Problems by Manhattan Prep, which costs approximately $15-$20 at local bookstores or online.

For more information or to register, visit

Overseas Risk & Security Symposium scheduled at USF

The International Risk & Security Symposium is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the USF Patel Center for Global Solutions Auditorium in Tampa.

This conference is designed for faculty, staff and students who are leading, organizing or participating in study-abroad excursions.

The guest speaker is Dr. Richard Rubright, a Ph.D. and Special Forces expert who served in the 19th and 20th Special Forces Groups. He has traveled to more than 35 countries and lived in five.

To register for the symposium, visit

USFSM professors organizing student trip to France, Italy

Bulls Notebook: USFSM, the Ritz-Carlton present HospitaBull

Dr. Joe Askren

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Dr. Joe Askren and Dr. Ken Caswell are inviting students on a four-week tour of Italy and France during summer 2019.

The USFSM History & Culture of Food & Beverage program runs from May 26 to June 21 and takes students on tours of vineyards, local farms and markets. Students will engage in chef-designed cooking classes and collaborative discussions with chefs, food scientists and hospitality experts.

The program is open to students of any major, 18 or older, with an interest in the Italian and French cultures and languages. Tuition is for six credit hours.

USFSM’s Science of Beer brewing system expands

Dr. Ken Caswell

The $5,376.34 cost includes accommodations, a daily continental breakfast, 11 lunches, eight dinners and five tastings. It also includes excursions to farms, wineries, a cheese house, and brewery and cooking demonstrations, as well as emergency medical and evacuation insurance.

Students will be responsible for their own air fare, personal expenses and tuition costs.

For more information, or to register, visit

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